Swiss Travel Pass - route coverage

Swiss Travel Pass - route coverage

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amnaasif6
amnaasif6
6 posts
new member
Jul 16, 2017 - 12:01 PM

hello,

we are travelling to Switzerland via Paris for 3nights. We intend to make Interlaken our base for the travel. After alot of research im still unable to figure out the cheapest transport methods to and from Interlaken. I have listed down all the questions inhave regarding my travel and hope someone here would be able to help me on the matter :)

I am looking to purchase 4 days swiss travel pass.

I will be travelling from Paris to Zurich on TGV lyria to get the reduced passholder fare on Swiss pass.

I will then need to change the train in Zurich to Interlaken, which I assume is free on the swiss pass. Am I correct? Do I need a reservation?

From Interlaken I will be going to jungfraujoch and back. Is this trip covered under swiss pass? Do I need a reservation?

From Interlaken I will be going also to engelberg and back the next day. Is this trip covered under swiss pass? Do I need a reservation?

I will be going from Interlaken to St. Moritz the next day to take the bernina express to Tirrano. Is this trip covered under swiss pass? Do I need a reservation?

Thankyou in Advanced:)

Lucas
Lucas
8901 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 16, 2017 - 2:36 PM in reply to amnaasif6

Hi amnaasif6 and welcome to MySwissAlps!

Most of your questions should be answered on our Swiss Travel Pass page.
More specifically, take a look at the PDF map and attractions here to see most of what is covered by the Swiss Travel Pass.

The only routes not fully covered by the Swiss Travel Pass that you mention is the one to Jungfraujoch (25% off on the section between Grindelwald or Wengen to Jungfraujoch). The Bernina Express is covered but there is a mandatory reservation required for the panoramic train that is an extra cost.

I would reserve your train from Paris as far as Zurich. Once you are on a domestic route (within Switzerland) reservations are not needed.

Lucas

amnaasif6
amnaasif6
6 posts
new member
Jul 16, 2017 - 2:53 PM in reply to Lucas

Hey lucas, thankyou so much for your reply.

If you could help me a little more

1. Where/how can i reserve the tickets from Paris Zurich? I

2. Is the train from zurich to interlaken covered in the swiss travel pass?(I couldnt find it on the forum)

3. What is the best route to get to st moritz from Interlaken? We need to reach st moritz at 3pm to catch the bernina express.

Lucas
Lucas
8901 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 16, 2017 - 3:18 PM in reply to amnaasif6

1. Ah yes sorry, you can buy tickets from France to Switzerland here.

2. Yes it is. Be sure to look at the PDF map link on my earlier post.

3. You can use the timetable here to plan your trip. Just enter your towns and hit search. To narrow it down on the SBB website that pops up you can change it to arrive and enter 15:00. The timetable automatically gives you the fastest options for your trips.

Lucas

Last modified on Jul 17, 2017 - 7:57 AM by Arno
Ravik
Ravik
14 posts
new member
Jul 18, 2017 - 2:44 PM

Hi Lucas / Amnaasif6

Just a thought, as the travel involves 2 countries as well as local train travel in switzerland, will it be better to opt for a Eurail 2 Country rail pass (Calling it here as ERP) instead of STP. Reason as below (Correct me if am mistaken)

  1. Cost of STP for 2 Adults and 2 Children (both below 12 years) is 516 CHF (valid for 4 days) as against ERP for a similar family is 542 Euros (Valid for 6 days).
  2. The tickets on TGV from Paris to Zurich or the other way round is included with the ERP (ONLY A SEAT RESERVATION is required). This cost is around 239 Euros for tickets for the said family whereas with the STP only till Basel or Bern is free and thereon a ticket plus seat reservation is required.
  3. Both offer ticketless travels on all trains in Switzerland.
  4. Child travel are free on both the passes.
  5. Both offer 25% discount on the Jungfraujoch trip (probably STP is free till Wengen / Grindelwald) whereas ERP is free till Interlaken and 25% off thereon.
  6. TITLIS - STP offers 50% discount from Engelberg to Titlis and back, whereas it is 25% off on the ERP.
  7. Bernina Express - Guess both offer free travel
  8. Golden Pass train - Montreaux to Lucerne and back - Both offer free travel.
  9. Lake Thun / Brein are free on both the passes. Lake Geneva and Lake Lucerne are 50% off on ERP.
  10. Of course, local bus transport and entries to museums is not covered in the ERP.

To summarise, i feel, the cost of TGV tickets as against local sightseeing should be the deciding factor.

Regards

Ravi

Lucas
Lucas
8901 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 18, 2017 - 3:33 PM in reply to Ravik

Hi Ravi,

Nice work! A few comments however for you and others who may read the post for clarity :)

Point 2 -- The price from Paris to Zurich fluctuates so it could be more than 239 or less - you can't count on that price to compare

Point 3 -- The Eurail Pass does offer ticket-less travel (just like the Swiss Travel Pass) but not on all trains in Switzerland (see coverage map here for Eurail Select Pass and compare to Swiss Travel Pass here).

Point 5 -- Yes, the Eurail Select Pass offers free travel as far as Interlaken (but only on certain routes there) and after that the discount isn't as good as the Swiss Travel Pass

Points 7 &8 -- both offer free travel but one must (with either pass) buy a seat reservation for the Bernina Express.

In the end you are very correct in saying local sightseeing is probably the deciding factor with free bus trips and museums with the Swiss Travel Pass (and of course the final cost of a ticket from Paris to Zurich when bought). Usually the Eurail Pass is best when someone does more than just one train trip in another country other than Switzerland and sticks to major routes within Switzerland.

For anyone wanting to do the calculations to be sure of the most economical rail pass for your specific trip, please use our web page on how to choose the best rail pass - which includes an Excel sheet to help with the calculations.

Cheers!

amnaasif6
amnaasif6
6 posts
new member
Jul 18, 2017 - 10:24 PM in reply to Ravik

Hi Ravi,

Thankyou for your comments. 2 country pass looks quite good also but the freedom to travel anywhere in Switzerland especially buses is attractive.

You are right Paris-Zurich on TGV is quite expensive these days but with a swiss pass you are entitle for a special pass holderfare on TGV lyria. You can presently get this reservation done for less than EUR 100 i believe. So if you bring down a major advantage of 2 country pass by EUR 150 approx (full price 239, passholder fare 100) then swiss pass looks attractive comparatively. Please correct me if i am wrong Lucas

Lucas
Lucas
8901 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 19, 2017 - 6:25 AM in reply to amnaasif6

Yes definately Amnaasif6!

If you can get your ticket from Paris down to 100 or so than the Swiss Travel Passdoes look like the best option.

Cheers,
Lucas

Ravik
Ravik
14 posts
new member
Jul 19, 2017 - 7:13 AM

Hi AmnaAsif / Lucas,

STP would be the best choice then. Can you please send me the link as to where one can book the TGV Lyria at the reduced fare of 100 Euro or so as I am also travelling to Paris from Zurich.

Regards

Ravi

Ravik
Ravik
14 posts
new member
Jul 19, 2017 - 7:19 AM

Hi AmnaAsif / Lucas,

An afterthought, AmnaAsif, i think what you mean is the SEAT RESERVATION FEE which is Euro / CHF 25 PER PERSON /TICKET. The ticket fare is over and above this which is not covered by the STP but ticket fare is covered by the Eurail 2 Countries pass. Reservation fee needs to be paid in either of the passes.

Hope am right.

Regards

Ravi

Lucas
Lucas
8901 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 19, 2017 - 9:14 AM in reply to Ravik

Yes, a reservation fee is always an extra cost no matter what rail pass you decide on.
The Eurail pass covers the whole trip to Zurich from Paris and the Swiss Travel Pass only covers the portion within Switzerland (usually this means you buy a ticket from just Paris to Basel as that is where the train would normally enter Switzerland).

Lucas

amnaasif6
amnaasif6
6 posts
new member
Jul 19, 2017 - 1:15 PM

please check if i m wrong.

Purchase from the following website, www.raileurope-world.com

Go to "reservations" tab. With a swiss pass (select STP in dropdown) you only need a reservation from Paris-Zurich. This reservation costs EUR 94 for 2 persons. I think this is what they call a "passholder fare"See attachment.

However if you select "2 country pass" in the drop down option, this exact reservation would cost around EUR 40 which i assume is just the standard reservation fee.

Am I doing it correctly lucas?

I want to purchase this asap but just need to be sure if this is indeed the correct way using the STP

Please login to see the attached documents
Lucas
Lucas
8901 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 19, 2017 - 3:32 PM in reply to amnaasif6

Hi AmnaAsif6,

Make sure you click on the reservation tab, enter your to/from cities and select the pass you have (Eurail Select 2 country pass if that is what you bought). It should give you the correct price then just for reservations.

Lucas

Ravik
Ravik
14 posts
new member
Jul 20, 2017 - 9:34 AM

Hi Lucas / AmnaAsif,

I am in the process of booking the ticket from Zurich to Paris using the above site, however, as i am residing in Kuwait, it re-directs me to :www.raileurope-gcc.com (THE GCC website). Here, i don't find a Reservation tab, instead i find a Shopping Cart. There is no drop down menu either from which i can select the Swiss Travel Pass option.(I intend to go with Swiss Travel Pass). Please see attachment.

I am yet to purchase the Swiss Travel Pass. Will that make any difference?

Regards

Ravi

Please login to see the attached documents
Lucas
Lucas
8901 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 20, 2017 - 12:33 PM in reply to Ravik

Hi Ravi,

If you will have to Swiss Travel Pass then you would just buy a ticket from Basel to Paris. You need a ticket and reservation from Basel to Paris along with your Swiss Travel Pass (which just covers the trip to Basel from Zurich, no reservation needed from Zurich to Basel).

You should be able to buy your ticket for that trip from one of the following companies here.
Make sure you enter your country and the product you want and click "show results" before clicking on one of the companies.

Lucas

Ravik
Ravik
14 posts
new member
Jul 20, 2017 - 1:07 PM

Thank you so much Lucas.

Regards

Ravi

amnaasif6
amnaasif6
6 posts
new member
Jul 21, 2017 - 7:51 AM

Thankyou so much Ravi and Lucas for your valuable input.

After doing some more research I am more inclined towards the Eurail Select Pass. The reason being the Paris - Interlaken cost.

Now if you could help with one last question

Is the route from Interlaken to Brig covered in the Eurail Pass or would I need to purchase a ticket?

regards,

Amna

Ravik
Ravik
14 posts
new member
Jul 21, 2017 - 9:20 AM

Hi AmnaAsif and Lucas,

I am attaching an excel file comparing the Eurail Select Pass with various days of validity and the STP. The figures are in Kuwaiti Dinars (Exchange rates for the other currencies are given at the right hand corner) and is kind of customised to my itinerary.

Summary: Though the Eurail Select Pass might look attractive monetarily albeit by a small amount, guess the benefits with the STP overrides the nominal monetary benefit.

AmnaAsif, before selecting the Eurail pass consider these points as well:

  1. You need to get a physical delivery of the pass.
  2. The pass needs to be validated in Europe before you can use it.(E-validation is also possible i guess)
  3. The pass needs to be filled in with details of each date and day of travel before boarding a train, else you may be subject to a fine.

4. From what i could understand, only reservation fee needs to be paid. However, the seat availability on a particular route and preferred time is not being shown unless the pass is purchased. I felt, there might be a scenario where seats may not be available on the preferred time of travel and you may have to change your plans accordingly.

  1. Moreover, the Eurail pass is not valid on most LOCAL transport in either of the countries where it is valid (For eg: Metro / local trains / buses / trams is not covered in France for a France - Switzerland Pass)

For the above reasons, i will be going in for the STP, and of course , local travel and sightseeing in Switzerland will be easier.

Please therefore weigh these pros and cons as well. By the way, i have purchased tickets on the TGV Leira and for my travel from Paris to Rome (highlighted in Yellow in the excel file) and this is the actual fare that i paid.

Correct me if i am mistaken in the above or the calculations attached.

Regards

Ravi

Please login to see the attached documents
Ravik
Ravik
14 posts
new member
Jul 21, 2017 - 9:23 AM

And my family is of 2 adults and 2 Children (aged 9 and 4 ), so you may have to make adjustments accordingly (not that there will a major change as both the children are more or less within the exempted fare category or a discounted fare category in most countries).

Hope the above helps.

Regards

Ravi

Lucas
Lucas
8901 posts
expert &
moderator
Jul 21, 2017 - 11:28 AM in reply to amnaasif6

Hi Amna,

You can use the map on the "where it's valid" page for the Eurail Select Pass. You can see that that route is covered.

Lucas

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